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Marlins acquire Jonathan Villar from Orioles

Minor-league southpaw Easton Lucas heads to Baltimore

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins made a trade to bolster their infield with Starlin Castro hitting free agency. The team announced they acquired infielder Jonathan Villar from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor-league left-hander Easton Lucas.

Miami had attempted to claim Villar of waivers in the past but the move fell through, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Now, they get their guy. Although it costs them a young pitcher with potential, it’s a great move for the Marlins, who now make their second infield-bolstering move of the day.

Villar, 28, spent all of 2019 with Baltimore after landing with them via a trade from Milwaukee in 2018. He played in all 162 games this past season, slashing .274/.339/.453 with 73 runs knocked in on a whopping 176 hits, including 33 doubles and 24 home runs. He stole an impressive 40 bases on 49 attempts while striking out 176 times and walking 61. This is a really great move for Miami as they attempt to replace Starlin Castro, whose numbers himself are really quite impressive.

As mentioned, this is Miami’s second significant infield move of the day as they claimed Jesus Aguilar off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays earlier.

Lucas, 23, was a 14th-round pick of the Marlins in the 2019 draft, so his time in pro ball has been limited. Between a game in Rookie ball and a dozen at High-A (including nine starts), Lucas posted a 3.63 ERA by allowing 14 runs on 29 hits over 34.2 innings. He surrendered three home runs and nine walks while striking out 41 batters.

While Lucas is young and has a lot of potential, it’s clear that the Marlins are the initial winners of the trade. Villar is one of the most underrated second basemen in the game and he should prove to be one of the star players in Miami as their rebuild continues.